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Fantasy Zone - January 30, '10 by TwinBee
Game:Fantasy ZoneCompany:Sega
Type:ShooterPlayers:1/2

Fantasy Zone is a whimsical shooter circa 1986. That makes it unique because, at the time, although there were others such as Galaxian and Galaga, none were quite as nonsensical or fanciful as Fantasy Zone. Fantasy Zone started a fanciful tradition in arcade games, seen in shooters such as Parodius and TwinBee, and adventure games such as the Wonderboy series. In these type games, nothing makes sense, and that’s what makes them so fun. Take, for instance, the plot :
“Long ago, far away in space, there existed a “Fantasy zone” where a courageous hero called OPA-OPA (the player) fought in a valient cause to rescue the “Fantasy zone” from it’s enemies.”
That’s the only plot explanation you get throughout the entire game. What that has to do with flying around in a little airship similar to a volkswagon beetle (with bird wings attached), bombing and shooting flying flower pods with eyes to collect coins has evaded me. Maybe it was a bad translation. Perhaps the programmers were not given enough time to come up with a better plot summary. Who knows? But, the point is it doesn’t matter. Everything from the steep mountains of grass to the bad plot, to the giant flowers to the formations of huge exploding blue cotton balls fits together magnificently. The word “PLALEAF” greets the player as soon as he or she starts playing, and it is ignored by the player. Even pairs of green pliers with eyes seem to make good enemies.
In the game, the player flies around the screen shooting and bombing everything, collecting the coins the enemies drop after death. The goal of the game is to destroy all the floating pod-looking creatures to advance to the next level. The interesting aspect is that the player can go back as well as forward, something uncommon to scrolling shooters. Occasionally, the player can take a break from shooting flying, footed noses and killer spores by bursting a randomly appearing shop balloon. The shop offers a wide variety of weaponry and defenses, including new engines for your ship, better guns like lasers and rapid fire weaponry, better bombs such as smarter bombs and fire bombs, and of course extra lives. Control is ok, not spectacular, since the ship cannot stop, even while on the ground (a nice touch-the ship sprouts feet and walks when one gets close enough to the ground). The music is good, but gets annoying quickly enough. Sound is just your basic everyday shooter sound. Graphics are wonderful and colorfully playful for 1986. Why bother reviewing it if it is so spectacular? Not only did I have I put over $50 in quarters into this game throughout my life, I also bought the master system and nintendo home copies. The reason : gameplay. This game has a certain whimsy that makes me come back for more. I think it’s the combination of shopping for better weaponry, the cool weaponry itself, and the graphics. The sound, challenge, and general atmosphere don’t hurt it any either. It is exactly what an 8-year old would want in a shooter, and that’s why I have been hooked on it since.
Graphics
9
6
Sound
Play Control
6
10
Challenge
Replay Value
10
9
Performance

Screen Shots

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